Leigh barrier to Allington lock
Twenty miles gentle paddling spiced up by Environment Agency canoe shoots. The railway follows the valley so getting back to the top is easy. I dunked my camera so the pictures below are either cribbed from the web (forgive me), or credit Alan or Pete.
0 miles – Leigh flood barrier.
This is on the new cut, now the main channel. No easy access. Better to launch in Tonbridge and paddle up to the barrier.
0.5 mile – old stream joins right.
1 mile – Lucifer footbridge. Barden Park right.
1.2 miles – railway bridge.
River divides round Tonbridge sports-ground.
1.6 miles – channels merge
1.8 miles – Town Bridge
2 miles – Town lock right. Sluice gate. Canoe pass. Weir. Millstream leaves left
2.5 miles – Cannon Lane bridge. Access left below bridge.
2.8 miles – Botany stream rejoins right
3 miles – Gravel conveyor bridge
3.5 miles Eldridge’s lock left. Sluice. Canoe shoot right. In two sections.
4.5 miles – Porters lock. Sluice gates right. Canoe shoot. Channel leading to lock left
5 miles – Hartlake bridge.
Memorial to 30 hop pickers who drowned here 1853 when an earlier bridge collapsed in flood. Access below bridge.
5.25 miles – footbridge
6 miles – East lock right.
Canoe shoot middle.
Sluice gates left.
6.25 miles – Ford Green footbridge
7 miles – Oak weir lock Right
Canoe pass middle
Camping allowed on the island. No facilities.
7.25 miles – Stilstead bridge
7.75 miles – River Bourne joins left. Footbridge.
Hop Farm Family Park right. Many attractions. If that sort of thing floats your boat, pass under the footbridge right to reach the campsite. If not, wild camping at Stoneham lock is only two miles away
8.5 miles – Sluice weir lock left. Sluice gates and weir middle. Canoe shoot and fish ladder right.
Click here for a video clip of shooting the canoe pass
9 miles – Branbridges. Road bridge
9.25 miles – A228 bridge
9.3 miles – conveyor belt bridge
9.5 miles – Railway bridge
10 miles – Stoneham old lock (disused). Camping. No facilities.
10.75 miles - Yalding. Sluice and weir right. Take lock cut left.
Alternatively land right upstream of the booms, portage over the bank to river Teise, under Twyford bridge and down to Marlin canoe club campsite (booking needed).
Footbridge over lock cut (Hampstead lane canal). Anchor inn left
11.5 miles – Hampstead bridge and Hampstead lock
Hampstead marina right below the lock
11.75 miles – rejoin main channel
13.5 miles – Bow bridge. Wateringbury
15 miles – Teston lock. Weir right. Canoe shoot left. Beware – in two section.
15.1 miles – Teston bridge. Reader’s cricket balls were made in Teston for 200 years
Teston bridge county park left. Access and parking.
16 miles – Barming bridge. Site of old ford. Camping is allowed on the right bank just before the bridge
17 miles – East Farleigh bridge
Farleigh lock. No canoe shoot. But easy portage.
18.5 miles – Tovil footbridge. Access right below.
19 miles – Millennium footbridge. The upstream one.
19.5 miles – Maidstone bridge
19.6 miles Maidstone New bridge
20 miles – Rail bridge
20.5 miles – Maidstone millenium footbridge. The second millenium bridge in Maidstone.
22 miles – Allington lock (tidal limit). Malt Inn right. Slipway left.
Overlooking the river Weser
This beautiful little cemetery, between the road and the river, enhanced my evening walk.
The expensively carved marble gravestones tell the story of Germany’s prosperous and stable recent past. Post war couples reach a good age, the man dies, and after a longish widowhood his wife goes too. No children have joined them yet.
Only one child grave, and only a couple of husbands outliving their wives.
Jim Thornton May 2014
By E. E. Cummings
As Cummings wrote:
“The poems are for you and me and are not for mostpeople – its no use trying to pretend that mostpeople and ourselves are alike. Mostpeople have less in common with ourselves than the squarerootofminusone. [...] If mostpeople were to be born twice they’d improbably call it dying.”
This one is from 50 Poems published in 1940. Read it out loud.
love is the every only god
who spoke this earth so glad and big
even a thing all small and sad
man,may his mighty briefness dig
for love beginning means return
seas who could sing so deep and strong
one querying wave will whitely yearn
from each last shore and home come young
so truly perfectly the skies
by merciful love whispered were,
completes its brightness with your eyes
any illimitable star
After newborn circumcision
A poor boy in Pittsburg, USA, had his penis accidently amputated during circumcision with a Mogen clamp. He was lucky to get to a centre where microvascular surgery was possible, the penis was reattached, and after a worrying time for all concerned, it appears to have survived. Time will tell how it functions later.
But look how hard the authors had to work to make the case sufficiently original to justify publication. Amputation itself won’t do, nor reimplantion, not even microvascular surgical reimplantation. All are too common; only last year some Canadian urologists described a series of five amputations with two reimplantations (click here). The present case was apparently only worth publishing because it was the first time someone had reported using leeches to reduce the postoperative oedema.
It’s pretty obvious that even in developed countries these catastrophic complications are under reported (click here). One dreads to think what is going on in mass neonatal circumcision campaigns in Africa.
A defense of abortion by Judith Jarvis Thomson
In retelling the famous violinist story (click here) I forgot the second part of Judith Jarvis Thomson’s thought experiment – the move from justifying abortion after rape, to justifying it after failed contraception.
No-one would claim that a burglar had a right to stay in your house just because you opened a window to let in some air and he climbed in. Nor would be OK if an innocent person blundered in. Thomson asks us to imagine a world like this;
“People-seeds drift about in the air like pollen, and if you open your windows, one may drift in and take root in your carpets and upholstery. You don’t want children, so you fix up your windows with fine mesh screens, the very best you can buy. As can happen, however, and on very, very rare occasions does happen, one of the screens is defective and a seed drifts in and takes root. Does the person-plant who now develops have a right to the use of your house? Surely not – despite the fact that you voluntarily opened your windows, you knowingly kept carpets and upholstered furniture, and you knew that screens were sometimes defective.”
Good eh? Here’s the article. judith jarvis Thomson a defense of abortion
Wild swimming in Dublin
A few yards from Joyce’s Martello tower in Sandycove, Buck Mulligan swam here in the opening of Ulysses. Once naked and “men only”, it’s now “togs must be worn” and open for both sexes.
On Bloomsday locals invite donations to help with upkeep, and readings and happenings abound.
Rails and steps make it easy to get in, but it’s still a cold spot.
Still ignoring post-operative deaths
Last year ripe-tomato.org commented on a neonatal circumcision trial conducted by US researchers in Botswana that had been registered (here) as a three arm trial, but reported with only two (click here). As the authors explained (here):
“The trial was originally designed to evaluate only the Plastibell and the Mogen clamp among 300 newborn boys (randomized 1:1 to circumcision method, 150 per arm). We learned of the availability of the newer AccuCirc device only after initiation of the original trial. [...] we added the AccuCirc arm as an amendment to our original study protocol, with a plan to circumcise an additional 150 neonates by AccuCirc (leading to a total of 450 neonates circumcised in the 3 arms, as reflected on ClinicalTrials.gov). Because the AccuCirc arm started enrolling only after the original 2 randomized Plastibell and Mogen arms had completed enrollment, the AccuCirc study results were not included in the manuscript submitted to JAIDS. [...] a manuscript summarizing the findings from the AccuCirc arm is in preparation.”
The missing AccuCirc arm has just appeared. Plank Accucirc 2014 paper. From a “convenience sample” of 151 infants, all but one were seen at 7 days. The parents of the missing infant, contacted by phone, reported “no adverse events or complications”. Five infants had mild bleeding, one severe bleeding associated with vitamin K deficiency and there was one unconfirmed infection. No deaths were reported.
Some readers might question if such high follow-up is plausible. My quibble is with the authors citing their previous trial as showing “a very low rate of serious adverse events associate with EIMC” without mentioning the three deaths!
But I guess that’s what you’d expect from people who classify an un-investigated death in a previously healthy boy less that 24 hours after circumcision as “extremely unlikely” to be procedure-related! Read more here.